October 2, 2019 / 2:42 PM / 12 days ago

Northern Irish DUP party backs Johnson's new Brexit proposals

LONDON (Reuters) - The Northern Irish party that supports Prime Minister Boris Johnson in Britain’s parliament on Wednesday backed his proposal for a renegotiated Brexit deal, saying it would ensure the province leaves both the EU customs union and single market.

The Democratic Unionist Party hailed the new proposal for scrapping what it called the “anti-democratic...backstop” clause of the earlier agreement, championed by the Irish government, which would have left Northern Ireland aligned to both the customs union and single market rules to ensure frictionless trade.

“This offer provides a basis for the EU to continue in a serious and sustained engagement with the UK Government without risk to the internal market of the United Kingdom,” the DUP said in a statement.

“These proposals would ensure that Northern Ireland would be out of the EU Customs Union and the Single Market as with the rest of the United Kingdom,” it said.

The DUP said that the new proposal would ensure democratic consent to specific elements of alignment between Northern Ireland the EU “both before they enter into force and thereafter on an ongoing basis”.

The proposals also protect the Good Friday Agreement, the 1998 Northern Irish peace deal, it said.

“Further work remains to be completed between the UK and the European Union but we would encourage all concerned to approach these discussions in a positive mind-set within a spirit of wanting to secure a negotiated withdrawal agreement that can allow everyone to focus on future relationships,” the statement said.

Writing by William Schomberg and Conor Humphries; Editing by Angus MacSwan

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